Monday, December 18, 2006

Monday Roundup

Public Clarifications

Michael Henson, the Landis spokesman, has sent out the following clarification what was reported in the Belgian/Dutch interviews. It hasn't been picked up anywhere that we've yet seen.

Floyd is determined to fight the unsubstantiated charges brought against him with the same determination and intensity that he brings to his training and racing. It is his steadfast goal to clear his name and restore what he has worked so hard to achieve. If he is given a fair hearing, then he has every confidence that the result will maintain his long-held innocence. Once he is cleared, he has every intention of returning to racing at the highest level. If Floyd is sanctioned, however, then he does not want to idle away two years of his life only to come back to race in a system that lacks fundamental fairness and has the deep flaws of the one currently in place. He has already been subjected to extremely unfair treatment by the UCI and WADA, who have leveled specious allegations against him in a very public, negative and damaging way.

The anti-doping organizations and the sports bureaucracies have acted with gross misconduct in his case and have not abided by fundamental principles of fairness recognized by WADA's own mission statement. Floyd never wants to go through another experience like this. He feels that the best outcome of his case is that he is proven innocent so that he can return to racing and that the system undergoes fundamental reform so that other athletes are given the rights that have not been extended to him. He is very focused on his case, but he is training with the hope of returning to professional competition. It is his goal and dream to race, and win, the Tour de France again. At the same time, he wants to help all athletes be treated fairly so they are not subject to the whims of a punitive system.

This is consistent with what we thought he was likely to have meant, confused in the articles and translations. There are lessons in the interviews throughout this affair that ought to end up in textbooks for both reporters and news makers.

AP via IHT carries the year in doping.

The Cyclingnews is now carrying the clarification that appears above under the title"Landis camp denies retirement rumours" in it's rehash of the Belgian/Dutch press of the weekend.
The same second hand rehashes are still bouncing around, but not the Daily News story.

Convoluted path, but first I've seen-- Lance is quoted as saying,
I do [think Landis is innocent]. I hope he starts the Tour de France in yellow next year, with number 1 on his back.

Found via Abby Normal (Eye-gor, not Eee-gore), who points to a WorldCycling ad that quotes the December Outside Magazine.

The Grauniad has an interview with Armstrong that contains this reference to Landis:
Armstrong vehemently opposed initiatives considered by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to streamline its testing system.

One measure would change the system to rely solely on one urine sample rather than A and B samples that are cross-checked to ensure the validity of a positive test.

This month the positive test for reigning Tour de France champion Floyd Landis was called into question over a reported administrative error in the labelling of Landis's B sample by the French anti-doping lab in Chatenay-Malabry.

"The need for drug testing is great," Armstrong said. "If the athletes are not protected and respected, and their rights are not protected and respected, then the process will never work. If the athletes don't believe in it, they don't believe they are being treated fairly, then it's all a sham.

SanDiego81 from Cornerstone Life attended the David Witt Memorial Cycling Classic yesterday at the San Diego Velodrome and took some great pics. There is also colorful commentary on the proceedings.
The informality of the who thing was quite refreshing. The crowd was invited to come into the infield and mingle with Floyd, Dave, Sarah and all the other racers, which is something I wasn't really expecting. When you see them on TV they're constantly being shuffled off by security and team personnel, but today I stood out on the the apron in the back straight and took pictures as these world-famous pros rode by me less than ten feet away. It was cool. No, I didn't go up and talk to them; there were plenty of other people jockeying for their time, so I just left them alone.

Landis was wearing the livery of Robbie Ventura's coaching company, Vision Quest. He was riding his BMC road bike, and Z-man was on his Cervelo TT machine, perfect steeds for track sprints against each other!

Neil @ Road also attended the Witt Memorial and apparently a good time was had by all, for a good cause.
Floyd and Dave raced each other twice in a three lap match sprint. Landis was on his road bike and Zabriskie with his time trial machine. In the first race, Dave hit the brakes forcing both of them into a track stand. I don’t think Floyd saw that coming. The first race Floyd won by jumping onto the track apron and the second sprint Dave, looking for revenge, took with a blistering sprint from the front position.

Neil concludes with tales of a photo shoot and dinner at Hawthorns.

UltraRob passes on a tantalizing rumour about Landis thinking about doing the Leadville 100 MTB race. It's unsanctioned, and could be Floyd's Mt. Washington hillclimb. Lance was earlier reported to be doing it, so that could be a really fun time.

PJ gets around to the depressing reprints of the same interviews, and picks up the same bad vibe. The best antidotes are Cornerstone's report (above) of the Witt Memorial which sounded like a hoot, and VdB's re-translation of one of the interviews we quoted late yesterday.

Cycling Commentary hopes Landis' background keeps him from ending up like Pantani.

Dan Martin thinks Landis might have been a candidate for SI's sportsman of the year, but for that problem. He's really annoyed that Federer didn't win.

Gods of Sport covered the LAT articles on Dec 11, and ddin''t like what they saw.

French Blog Silverside, translated, reviews the decisive moments of the tour and concludes
It was nevertheless a beautiful Tour taking into account the circumstances. It's a pity that…



Anonymous said...

On a lighter note:

Here's a failed test for you!

There's failing a test and then there's failing a test...